We are all well aware of the toll which the pandemic has had on the NHS and the challenges of dealing with the treatment back log which this has created. The headline funding of £36 billion is certainly eye catching but it is over 3 years. By the time it is shared out amongst all the UK nations and social care, the frontline NHS in England is left with little more than half the extra funding which health managers were asking for.
Mike Padgham, Chairman of the Independent Care Group described the proposals as "a huge opportunity missed for radical, once-in-a-generation reform of the social care system."
Chief Executive of the UK Home Care Association, Dr Jane Townson, commented, "This is nowhere near enough. It will not address current issues and some measures may create new risks."
The reality is that access to care support is being rationed so only the frailest individuals qualify for help and currently around half of the requests for help made to the local authorities are turned down. Councils say the money being made available will do little to help them deal with this.
There are also fundamental concerns about the chronic levels of staff vacancies across the care sector which is adding to the backlog of people waiting to have their care need assessed.
A survey by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services at the end of August, found that in the last three months, the number of people waiting for an assessment to determine the help they need and if their local authority would pay for it, has increased by 15,000 and the waiting list now stands at an estimated 70,000.